Monday, August 29, 2011

Canada compete well in areas but fall to Australian Barbarians

This past Friday Canada played its final warm-up game before Rugby World Cup 2011 in a match against the Australian Barbarians. The match was played at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast with the home team showing its strength in depth in completing a 38-14 victory. Despite the scoreline suggesting that Canada were outplayed, the reality is different as Canada were very competitive in the forwards and were able to defend very well for lengthly periods. The Australian Barbarians had a number of internationals players who will feature at the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand including flyhalf Berrick Barnes and winger Drew Mitchell.

After fending off good early pressure from the Canadians it was the Australian Barbarians who opened the scoring as centre Rob Horne scored the games first try. The Canadians showed resolve as they continued to do well at scrumtime and went over for a well worked try as Ander Monro and DTH van der Merwe combined in what was a well-worked try. Scores were tied at 7-7 as James Pritchard succeeded in converting the try. The Australians were to go into the interval well in charge, however, as they responded with tries to wingers Rod Davies and Drew Mitchell as well as flyhalf Berrick Barnes. Canada did continue to fight back, nevertheless, and scored a second try before the halftime hooter as a van der Merwe turnover resulted in Phil Mackenzie scoring his third try in as many matches.  The halftime scoreline stood at 26-14 to the Australians. The North Americans made a number of changes during the interval but were unable to compete as well as they had done in the first half. All points were scored by the Australians with backrower Matt Hodgson going over for a try from a 5 metre scrum and Ben Tapuai scoring a late tryto complete a 38-14 victory.

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